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A 2000 years old marble bust for 35$ !


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A collector from Texas made the lucky find of a Roman bust, dating back more than 2000 years in a thrift store. The object was loaned to the San Antonio Museum of Art.

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Originally from Austin, Laura Young discovered the statue belonging to King Ludwig I of Bavaria in a Goodwill store, for the modest sum of $35. The object was, several years later, looted from the Nazis by the American allies during the Second World War. After her purchase, since the work was stolen, she could not keep it. She couldn't sell it, and getting it back to its rightful owners was a lot harder than it looks.

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"At that point, I realized I was probably going to need some help," Young said. "I was probably going to need a lawyer." She then hired a New York lawyer specializing in international art law, Leila Amineddoleh. According to the museum, the bust depicts probably Nero Claudius, a Roman commander whose forces once occupied German territory. The San Antonio Museum of Art will exhibit the bust until May 2023.

And a little coin with the portrait of Germanicus for the comparison:

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Posted (edited)

Wow. I wonder how long it took to identify it -- presumably there are prewar photos -- or even to suspect that it came from a German museum. To me, it looks pretty much like 1,000 other Roman busts I've seen! And I do wonder how it ended up in King Ludwig's collection in the first place. Looted from an early Pompeiian excavation, perhaps?  A gift to the infant Kingdom of Bavaria from its patron Napoleon when he controlled the region surrounding Pompeii? Should Italy now demand its return?

Edited by DonnaML
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I remember reading this amazing story when it was first printed & decided to pay a visit to a huge Goodwill Store in Brockport, NY, not too far from where I live. The store has been frequented by students attending Brockport University looking for used clothing & furniture. The few times I went browsing through the store I never saw more than 25 people there. When I did visit the store shortly after the Roman bust made headlines there must have been 300-400 people in the store, they even hired security to maintain order in the place 🤣! The only thing I found of interest that day was a used DVD of "The Revenant" for $2.00 😠. I did enjoy the movie 🙂.

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